Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meatloaf and a Launch

A meal fit for a king...meatloaf, mashed potatoes and fresh green peas.  Also known as the meal Alex begs for.

And not a morsel was left.
And now?

Now it's time.

It's HERE.
I would love to take credit for the gorgeous-ness of it...but I can't.  I have friends who designed and wrote and edited and photographed.  

Talented people.

I simply hammered and laughed...and hammered and laughed.

So play and away and let me know of any glitches.  There's lots more to add...but that will happen this weekend.  I've had a big order to fill and need to get that done and shipped...but first, I am taking a bit of a break today with that guy that I like so much and escaping for a few hours to paradise.

Also known as the beach.  My toes need to walk in the sand.  HIS toes need to walk in the sand.   And maybe,  just maybe,  he'll buy me lunch at my favorite spot.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Recap

Friday I watched Brian play flag football.  He's in the blue shorts...so cute.


Our planned neighborhood power outage began 1 1/2 hours earlier than they told us (grrr....I had wet clothes in the dryer and the dishwasher was running, but oh well) so Brian and I left and went to the movies.  The dollar theater was showing Bedtime Stories...which was worth exactly what we paid for it.


Home to a dark, kinda creepy neighborhood.  Aex and the neighborhood boys hung out all night, wandering from house to house in search of food.  Brian and I played Sorry and read by candlelight...it was kind of nice to have a technology free evening.  

Saturday was a hang out day at home (glorious!) and on Sunday...well...on Sunday we went to a strip mall.

My husband loves strip malls.

I always think he is crazy, but he swears the best food places are in strip malls...and he is almost always right.

Our town doesn't have many strip malls, sadly, but the area our church is in has tons, so over time we are conquering them one by one.

So, he talked us all into yet another strip mall for lunch after church.  We have been driving by this one over the years...and it is conveniently located next to a 24 hour bar.   Just in case you are thirsty on a Sunday morning.  


Once inside, M did what he always does and made friends with everyone in the place.  Not quite as charming as Claros, but they had some really fun 'straight from Italia' stuff.  I stocked up on arborio rice, which they had for a steal...plus some anchovy paste, cuz you never know when I am going to throw anchovy paste in something I am cooking.

Scary, huh?
Their food was OH.MY.YUM.  Even my boys were quiet while eating...and are already asking to go back again.

Which we will.  Today if we could.
Home.  Full.  Nap.

For the grown-ups, anyway.

Then off to Alex's basketball awards banquet.
Hard to believe that the season is over...I remember getting the 3 page schedule this summer and thing there was no way we were going to be able to juggle this all..and it flew on by.  Next season will be fun and I am NOT doing snack bar.

Alex getting his award:

Today is a busy one...the website people are waiting for my final OK to launch, but I just haven't had time to go over everything with a fine tooth comb.  So today I am going to comb.  Promise.


Friday, March 27, 2009

In Bloom

I love these azalea trees and wish more than anything that a) they bloomed more than once a year and b) that they would actually be in full bloom on Easter Sunday.

BUT...that being said, I love nothing more than looking out my kitchen window and seeing them look like this.



Last night after supper, one of my boys asked for cookies.  I am not much of a baker...too many rules to follow, but I really like the boy who asked me.

So cookies it was.

OH...and they are sharing a counter with Mendelssohn, this years composer who has moved on in and sat down right smack dab in the middle of the couch with us.

Until the end of April anyway.  
The girlies have been loving the time change and have been frolicking outside at twilight with all the neighborhood cats and then curling up together and napping.

And then they hiss and scratch at each other.

I love my girls.  Lots. 
This morning I broke down, pulled on my old jeans and birkenstocks (you can remove the girl from Boulder, but not Boulder from the girl) and pulled and pulled and pulled weeds.

And then pulled some more.

AND picked some really yummy broccoli, which I steamed and ate for lunch.  
2 hours of being hunched and scrunched and on my hands and knees later, and we're ready to plant.  I still have to rototil the beds (M won't let me do it by myself...he actually read my blog at work - spy that he is - called and said NO WAY.) or rather, M has to till the beds, lay my beloved compost and plant.

I am so sore right now...I'm wondering what tomorrow will feel like.

Supper tonight will be burgers on the grill...seems we are going to have a planned power outage from 6pm - 2 am.  Crazy times if you ask me, but in all the time we have lived here that has never happened, so they must be working on something that needs working on at 6pm at night.

M has a recital to go to, Alex has a choir festival (he is beyond thrilled) and then basketball practice at the college at 9pm...so we'll be out and about.  We do have lots of candles and the stuff for late night s'mores, so we'll turn it into an adventure.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Meals on Wheels today...yum.

Or not.

But food is food...and it's free to boot.  My route is mostly new, so I am just getting to know people.  All nice...but no Josephine.

I was eating my PB&J in the backyard and got sick of looking at the overgrown palm tree, so I grabbed the clippers and went to town.  It's a painful process...especially barefoot and in a skirt, but it's done and looks much better.

My cats kept me company and felt sorry for me everytime I got poked.

Spent a few hours making jewelry and am almost done with my big order...and almost done with the website.  Final edits are happening now and it will hopefully launch by Monday...but for now I am tired of staring at the computer.

So, tonight I am cooking.

One more time...Tonight.  I.  Am.  Cooking.

I almost can't believe it, but our schedules have been crazy.  Roasted chicken, sausage, peppers, potatoes, onion and garlic...with a ton of olive oil.  Add a loaf of french bread and a bottle of wine and we've got dinner.  Not only that, but 4 of the 5 of us will be home...I still like the 5 out of 5, but the semester is almost over and then I'll get a whole summer with him.

Bet he's thrilled.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sweets and Burgers


What a day.

I spent all morning in meetings, walked in the door for lunch and got a call from a girlfriend...who was out front in her car.  I ran out, jumped in and was soon having lunch with one of my very favorite people.


Home in time to meet Brian and get him off to practice for the talent show while I went to yet another meeting at his school...which ended up being a pretty big deal.  Tense is an understatement.  I sat on my hands and bit my tongue...which was NOT easy, but it all ended well.

I didn't walk back into the house until close to 5:30pm...and met up with a guy that I like so much and two of the three children he gave me.  And off we went to The Counter where I ordered a BEER, which tells you that my meeting was incredibly stressful, and some sweet potato fries.

My favorite.

Didn't last long.

Brian and Alex both had burgers that were bigger than their heads!  
This morning was an early one...I ran and met a girlfriend for tea, home to do a quick clean up and in a bit I am heading to the beach to meet another friend for a walk and a date shake.

Zero calories, too.


Flag football for Brian afterschool, followed by class at church AND church with M, and Alex has basketball.  He and I will come home for supper and head up to church together...hard to believe that Lent is almost over.

Easter is a-comin'!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Just in case you were curious, this is what I am eating for breakfast.

 Right now.

Me and my oatmeal...apples and cinnamon, to be exact.


This weekend became a food-fest...Saturday night, friends came over and we drank some really, really old wine.

Wine from the year I graduated high school in...so maybe it wasn't really, really old and just really old.

That sounds better.

OH...and ate short ribs and mashed potatoes.  YUM.
My obsession.

Like, it's totally, totally an obsession.

Dr. Mario.  On the wii...but you play online.  Download it and call me.

But be warned...I ROCK.

Supper last night (after church, after Race to Witch Mountain, after errands) was a large pot of risotto.

Probably my favorite thing ever....there is something so therapeutic about stirring and stirring and stirring.

A glass of wine in one hand and a wooden spoon in the other...paradise.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Morning.

Lined up and ready to go!

This was my 14th jog-a-thon at the elementary school...which right there is absolutely crazy, but still so much fun to go and cheer the kids on.

Go, Brian, Go!

Managed to get all boys located and accounted for and off we went to a Friday evening wedding...which, I must say, was a nice change.  And leaves my Saturday free.


The ceremony was beautiful and after, we grabbed Pat and drove to the reception.

Always fun to see former students who are now all grown up...but still manage to act crazy.  And I really wanted to put Lisa's cute belly picture here, but wasn't sure how she'd feel about that...but I am so excited about their new little one!


Made a massive amount of chocolate pancakes this morning, though Alex is in LA for a pick-up club tournament and M has auditions/preview day...so Brian was happy to have me and the kitchen all to himself.

Gotta love the baby.


Discovered he had left his helmet at a friends and when we went to pick it up, they had accessorized it for him:
And so, we are now at war.

Which basically means that we now have our next TP'ing target.  Ready or not, here we come!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Keeping On Keeping On


And yes, I know I live in a warm climate, but there is something beautiful about knowing that it really IS Spring.


OK...so I love winter.  And Fall.  And Summer.

But I really love springtime best of all.


Alex had a concert last night and looked smashing all dressed up in his tux.  And for the record, this is the HAPPIEST he looked on stage:

After, he was all smiles...but not on stage.  So funny how all these boys came from the same two parents, yet are so amazingly different.

I had woken up early yesterday morning and spent some quiet time before anyone woke up reading through the Psalms of Ascent, which are so moving to me.

I spoke at MOP's yesterday, which I truly do not think is my gift AT ALL, but somehow the Lord makes it all work out.  It was then time for Meals on Wheels and I cannot even begin to tell you much I miss my dear Josephine. She sent me a lovely card the other day reminding me that fig season is approaching and to remember to pull the bottom leaves off my tomato plants.


I miss her.


Brian and Alex each brought a crowd home after school, so I made a gourmet nutritious snack of pizza rolls and popcorn.

But hey, it was cheap.  And easy.


Finally met up with that guy that I like so much at the concert, where we listened to Alex's choir and then DITCHED the rest.


But needed.

Got those boys in bed, put my jammies on, turned on Greys Anatomy and drank ridiculously priced champagne.  On a Thursday.



Today is incredibly full, too.  I am meeting a girlfriend for a quick breakfast, then it's Jog-a-Thon day at Brian's school...so I'll be there for a good chunk of the morning.  Brian has flag football afterschool, which involves driving,  and then M and I have a wedding at 5:30pm, so it'll be a late night for us.  Alex has another concert...his best friends family will be the cheering section for him tonight, and Matthew has offered to come home and stay with Brian.

He actually wants to do his laundry and is hoping for a free pizza...I think I can handle that.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lots and Lots of Driving.

Last night we had a full house, which is a regular occurrence in our teeny tiny house.

But last night we had a really full house.

Which I really, really like.


Most of the cousins were here and Matthew came home for a few hours to visit with Grandma and Grandpa.

The younger set jammied up and watched a cuddly movie on my bed.
I love that my house is so...dance-able.  Even Grandma and Grandpa couldn't help but dance the night away.
The brothers sharing a cocktail.  Or two.  Or three.
And finally...a shamrock shake.

Love these.  

This morning, after begging and pleading in an oh so not attractive way to switch places with us, I drove to the port in LA and watched my in laws board their cruise ship.   

 I drove back home alone, trying not to weep.  
And then my brake lamp came on.


I actually let out a string of German words...and we all know that the only German words I know probably shouldn't be uttered around anyone who really speaks German.
I stopped for gas and asked some random person if I had any brake lights and sure enough...not a one.

Double lovely.

So off I drove to the auto parts store, bought $13 worth of light bulbs and replaced every light.

Cuz I am a rock star.

Gathered Brian and his friend afterschool, drove them to flag football, picked a gourmet supper to go, picked Brian up and headed BACK up north for church.


At least I have brake lights now.

After, we sat in traffic for ever, but it's OK.  Brian is a great conversationalist and kept me quite entertained.

I sure do like these boys of mine.
Home now.  Jammies on.  A french apple tart is in the oven.  American Idol that's been TiVo'd is ready to start.  That guy that I like so much is home after a long day of work and scholarship auditions.  Both my younger boys are home and laughing.  Matthew is just a text message away.

And I can now add auto mechanic to my resume.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Change Is In The Air

This morning I had an appointment with an old friend...the attorney who handled all the legal junk (and yes, it was junk in my eyes) for my old non-profit.

He was, and is, a saint.

He was one of the few...OK, he was the ONLY one (out of like a bazillion or so) who actually listened when I walked in and and said that I wanted to start a non-profit.

And didn't laugh.  Or take my money.

In the beginning, anyway.


So this morning I listened as he laughed and reminded me that I was NEVERRRRR (and he hung onto the R for a really long time, too) going to have my own business again.

Yeah...I did say that.

And then he ordered a necklace for his wife.

I then went to visit my old accountant, who handled all the non-profit money nightmares for me.  There were alot of them...and thanks to her, the IRS is now happy and content.  Knock wood.

But she managed to take the time to laugh and remind me that I told her I would NEVERRRRR (and yes, she hung on to the last R for along time, too) have my own business again.

Yeah, I did say that.

And then she, too, ordered a necklace.

God has a sense of humor.

And I had to make it official after getting the really, really big order.  And for once in my life, I am just running with it.  No questions.  No demands.

...love is a battlefield.

Thanks, Pat Benatar.


I figure God will guide this whole process and I'm just along for the ride.

With a hammer in my hand.


In other Family News, which is by far more important anyway, my in-laws are coming for dinner (from San Jose) to rub salt in our wounds...they are driving down and parking their car in front of our house while they float away on a 2 week Hawaiian cruise in celebration of my FIL's 75th birthday.

And we don't get to come along.  But we do get their car...and I do get to drive them to the big, big boat in LA tomorrow morning.

Hip, hip, hooray.

And I might just stow myself in a suitcase.


The Orange clan is coming for supper, too...so we'll have a full house and a St. Patty's Day feast.  Burgers and dogs on the grill, with all the fixins'.  Pub-ish food, which after the green meatloaf I made a few years back, will be just fine.

It's close to 80 here today and my toes are so happy and warm.  The windows are all open and the birds are singing and the trees are green.

Life is good.


Monday, March 16, 2009


Friday night's concert was a smash...always fun seeing one member of my family sing and another conduct.

Still a little strange, but fun.


Home for a grown-up get together with a little bubbly...

Saturday we celebrated Maddie's 6th birthday...50's style.
Nothing like turning 6 AND losing your first tooth!
Sunday brought the fam over here to hang.  And eat.  And play.
And recreating past events...like building towers around little boys and not letting them break free until someone says 'GO'.

So cute!
Today I am actually home all day...I have bible study work to do, a MOP's lesson to prepare, a house to clean up and a pile of laundry.  I also have a few jewelry orders to fill and a garden to weed...fortunately, there is a fridge FULL of leftover food so supper is covered.

Unfortunately, I keep hearing this little voice in my head saying, 'leave it all and go to the beach, leave it all and go to the beach...'

...and I'm seriously thinking of listening to it.


Friday, March 13, 2009

End of the Week

Colonial Day at Brian's school was yesterday and was rather...colonial.

And it was rather easy this go around.

First, I had the whole costume, thanks to older brothers who had 'been there, done that' and an attic to store things in.   Plus my rather attractive oufit with matching cap.  Purty.  Or not.

Second, I was in charge of nothing and just had to be there to work.  That's a first for me and was so much fun.  I dressed funny, talked, had snack and basically had a relaxing morning with the kids.  After 13 years, it is a nice change...I am still at everything, just leaving the hard stuff to other people.

I worked at the stenciling station...fun, but messy.  They also learned paper marbling, had high tea, learned quilting, cross stitch and toy making, plus calligraphy and a few more I am forgetting about.

It's a really, really cool day.
The stencils the kids made.  
Brian learning to cross stitch.
No rubber gloves in colonial times, but we cheated.

I even got to eat a colonial lunch with Brian...fried chicken and biscuits (OK...so I baked it instead of frying it) and then we played colonial games.

Nothing like rolling a metal wheel with a stick...in a long skirt.  And a cap on my head.



Last night we ventured to Nick's for a night of therapy and good food.  I've had one teen who I have been holding the line with and life has not been all smiles between the two of us, but Dad's back in town and is, as usual, a good co-captain on this crazy parenting journey we are on.  

Pizza helps, too.  

Matthew heard through the grapevine (text message, actually) where we were going and met us there...free food, plus a few bucks for snowboarding this weekend.  Spoiled kid.

Hector and his crew took great care of us...and we now have a youngest child who is hooked on calamari.  That's just crazy.

And no one would let me take a picture.  Oh well.

This morning was a much needed pedicure and then I had to spend a bazillion dollars on ink for the printer.  OUCH.  There's a concert tonight...M's home from tour concert, so the boys and I will go to that.  Not sure if he has enough healthy people to sing, though...they all came back from tour sick, sick, sick.

We then have one of those weekends coming up...a birthday party for a niece who turned the BIG 6 this week and church on Sunday.

Nothing more.  Nothing less.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This and That

The other day, a friend dropped off a huge bunch of asparagus that she had grown all by herself.

Oh my.
(and bring more, please.)


Driving around my neighborhood...there is lots of this going on:
And lots of this:
...and it is driving me crazy.  There is not a street in sight that isn't affected and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.  It's not just the driving...it's the fact that our power and cable keep flickering on and off, and twice they've hit the gas line.  Different crew.  Same place.

Ah well.

Yesterday, I had a lunch invite that I couldn't refuse.  My neighbor Sheila, Sheila's mom, Patti - along with her new knee, and their friend Loni.  

Who is in her 90's and had wonderful, amazing stories to tell.  

What a blessing this group of women are...strong, devout Christian women who have overcome so much in their lives and look at those hurdles as times to lean more on God rather than curl up and wallow.

I left standing a tad bit taller.

My really, really adorable new shoes that are KILLING my feet.  I refuse to let the pain win and am wearing a bazillion band-aids.

Which sadly, aren't really helping.

Last night was a garden club meeting.


Yes, I am in a garden club.


OK, so I learned alot about tomatoes (all veggies, actually) and all the ailments they have and how I can fix them.  And, I learned about the little thingy attacking my lemon and lime trees is completely treatable and my fruit will still be edible.

I also learned that there are some really, really intense people in the garden club.


Today is a 'get my house in order' day after a few days of neglect.  There is a pile of laundry that I am not sure will ever go away, plus a few bathrooms to scrub and floors to mop.  I keep hoping Snow White will show up, but so far she is a no show.

Michael and Brian are heading up to Long Beach for church and a class tonight...Alex has PT, so he and I will be home.  Just the two of us and a tuna casserole.


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